SUPPORT MATERIALS for Backyard Chickens 

Thursday, August 2, 2012 11:14:00 AM

Avid Homestead has received quite a few requests for materials relating to backyard chickens from other groups who are interested in promoting code change at the city or county level.  We are planning on addressing these requests by making all of our research and relevant articles available online.  The original packet of information that was presented to the Brevard County Board of Commissioners in April, 2012 included 25 pages plus supporting CURRENT online and magazine articles.  However, the EASIEST and QUICKEST way to make your case for backyard chickens and urban homesteading is to summarize the facts in as succinct a manner as possible.  After all, everyone is very busy these days and has at least ONE MILLION different things competing for their time and attention!

We will be happy to make ANY of our materials available to you.  We have a blank petition form for gathering signatures in your community.  We have short FACT SHEETS that address concerns or issues that you may use to educate people about backyard chickens.  We will be happy to meet with you to plan strategy or address local officials in your quest to change local ordinances or code.

Please contact us through the website to request any additional information!  THANKS as always for your support!!!

 

 

 

 

PHOTO ESSAY from The Food Revolution Rockledge, Florida 

Friday, May 25, 2012 4:25:00 PM

Rockledge Gardens graciously hosted The FIRST EVER Food Revolution event in Brevard County on May 19th, 2012.  Event coordinators were Priscilla Saad and Lily Fredrickson who encouraged various local area restaurants, organizations and other businesses to be presenters for this event.   I have never seen the gardening center more lovely with cool fountains, bright flowers and clear, sunny skies!!!  This was the PERFECT venue for a stellar event that attracted at least 1,000 or more people!  AVID HOMESTEAD garnered another 100 signatures on our paper petition and SOLO, Brevard County's poster chicken for change really got to strut her stuff!  Many, many thanks to the hard-working organizers for a top notch, well-planned event that we thoroughly enjoyed!!  It is a WONDERFUL thing to be outside in a gorgeous setting meeting all the wonderful, enthusiastic people of Brevard County!!  GO, GO GREEN REVOLUTION and code change!!!   ENJOY THE PHOTOS!

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Oliver's FOOD REVOLUTION happening May 19th Rockledge Gardens 

Friday, May 18, 2012 9:49:00 AM

COME ON OUT and join us for a GREAT DAY of fun events at Rockledge Gardens on U.S. 1 for The FOOD REVOLUTION!! 

Just WHAT is the FOOD REVOLUTION?   Food Revolution Day on 19 May is a chance for people who love food to come together to share information, talents and resources; to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues. All around the globe, people will work together to make a difference. Food Revolution Day is about connecting with your community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers' markets. We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone

We will have our SOLO, Brevard County's poster chicken for change on site for a meet and great with some of her CHIC CHICK friends!!!  We will be talking about home steading in Florida, raising chickens, organic gardening and the symbiosis of backyard chickens with all of these activities!  While you are there, you will be able to sign our petition for Brevard County to change code for more a GREEN FRIENDLY, agriculturally supportive government and chicken change!!!  COME ON OUT and meet SOLO and the inspiration for AVID HOMESTEAD!!!

 

READ MORE about the activities and the local sponsors here:    

  http://foodrevolutionday.com/public-event/81/Food-Revolution-Day-Space-Coast.html

 

KIDS!!! Benefits of GOATS and CHILDREN 

Friday, April 27, 2012 1:35:00 PM

Avid Homestead was fortunate enough to meet and interview another local resident living in un-incorporated Brevard who took the initiative to come forward and tell her personal story before the Brevard County Board of Commissioners on April 3rd, 2012.  Her name is Penny and she is one of the most remarkable people that we have met along the way in our quest for code change.   She has untold strength and perseverance and was willing to stand up for both her human kids and her GOAT kids.  Penny has Nigerian Dwarf goats that provide fresh milk and yogurt for her adopted children.  She also has chickens that provide a significant quantity of fresh eggs for her family.   Penny was the first of our speakers before the Board and her story was certainly compelling and quickly drove our point home about the importance of the urban homestead in raising a HEALTHY family.  HERE is her story:

Hello my name is Penny, I hold degrees from both  Barry University and  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.   I worked at Cape Canaveral for over 13 years and then became a Manager and communication “expert” for Lockheed Martin.  

I felt called to foster children and left my career behind.   Fostering soon turned to adopting.  My husband and I have adopted five children from Brevard County's foster care system. All of our adopted children suffer from Post Traumatic Stress  Disorder and  three have attachment disorders due to abuse and neglect as toddlers and young children. Two  (who are siblings) are on the autism spectrum. Those last two were referred to as “feral children” by social workers when they came to live with us 5 years ago.  They are why I am here today. 

After our youngest children moved in with us, we knew something was “different”.  I set about in intense time of research and discovered my youngest son was autistic and our daughter had pervasive developmental delays.  I wanted to find the best ways to help my children reach their fullest potential in the most positive and natural ways possible.  The first thing that became obvious after some studying was that our children needed a special diet, and to live in an environment that was as free from chemicals and additives as possible.   We contacted and worked with Julie Matthews, author of Nourishing Hope and a national expert nutritionist for autism spectrum disorders.  Learning that our daughter is sensitive to soy we were advised to avoid soy and make sure the chickens providing our eggs and meat are not feed any soy grains. 

We started buying only organic fruits and vegetables.  We ordered grass-fed beef, free range organic chicken and eggs, fresh cow and goat milk from a Pennsylvania Amish farmer to ensure our children's nutritional needs are being met.  However, our grocery bill sky rocketed from around $500 to over $1800 a month! 

Soy-free eggs are $6.00 a dozen, my three youngest children eat 15 dozen eggs a month for breakfast, that is $90 for breakfast eggs, that does not include shipping, eggs for my husband or those used in baking or other cooking.   As a comparison I can feed 11 chickens organic soy-free feed for about half of that.  I know what is going into my chickens and subsequently my children. 

One of the most healing foods we have found for my son is yogurt that I make by culturing fresh goat milk for 24hrs. (regular yogurt is only cultured for about 8 hrs).  

We have tried to sell our home so that we could move to a larger lot with the zoning for having the animals we have, but the economy being what it is, has not made that possible. And honestly we love our home and community.  We have decided to grow where we are planted.  We are transforming our property by planting only plants are edible and raising chickens and goats so that we can help sustain ourselves.  We have a small lot (.2 acres) and we  have 11 hens and 2 small dairy goats.   

 Information I have found states that chickens need about 8 square ft of run space and that a Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goat requires about 30 square ft. Ours have plenty of room to be happy, healthy, productive animals.  

A Nigerian Dwarf  goat is only about 22” high and weighs about 75 pounds. My goats are smaller and quieter than many of the dogs in the neighborhood. Most our neighbors would not even know we have them if we didn't tell them.  

My chickens go to bed at dark and are silent. 

I would like to note that goats are herd animals and it is cruel to have only one, so when the laws are changed this needs to be a consideration.  Chickens are also very social animals and I can't imagine they would do well being alone.   

I am asking for the right to raise our chickens and goats on our “city lot” legally.  I strongly feel this is a God given right to provide for my children what they need to heal.  

Like with  most rights I feel there are great responsibilities that come with caring for these animals.  I am responsible to keep my animals from causing a nuisance to neighbors, I make sure their areas are clean so there are not foul odors coming from my yard, I keep food in metal trash cans so I don't attract mice or rats, I make sure there are good fences so they are not out roaming the streets.  Thank you for your time and consideration. 

  

Here are some of the facts about proteins: protein is essential to a healthy heart and a healthy body; animal sources of protein including eggs are “better” for you nutritionally since they contain all of the essential amino acids...... (proteins) cannot be “stocked” up like fat but must be eaten daily.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION about the NIGERIAN DWARF GOATS, please visit the NATIONAL WEBSITE of the NDGA:  http://www.ndga.org/  There is a WEALTH of information here on the site including general breed standards, feeding and care as well as support materials offered in their quarterly publication DWARF DIGEST.  Please contact AVID HOMESTEAD regarding more information about these compact, helpful animals.

If you are interested in PURCHASING a small goat to add to your homestead, here is the LINK for the NIGERIAN GOAT CLUB of FLORIDA:   http://www.ndgcf.com/Home.html  This site offers local events, breeders, shows and good general information.  It is always a good idea to go and visit a farm or local breeder and ask LOTS OF QUESTIONS before you decide to purchase ANY animal.  Responsible husbandry is what we are advocating at AVID HOMESTEAD.

FOR MORE GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT DAIRY BREED GOATS, please see the website for the AMERICAN GOAT SOCIETY:   http://www.americangoatsociety.com/   RECOGNIZED DAIRY GOAT BREEDS ON THIS SITE ARE: French Alpine, Lamancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Oberhasli, Pygmy, Saanen, Sable and Toggenburg.

 

Margaret Goudelock was a journalism major at the University of Mississippi before she transferred to the University of North Texas to pursue a more lucrative degree in Art History, Painting and French. There is a magnetic sign for Avid Homestead
on the back of her truck and a small soap-box in the back that she will happily step up on with very little provocation.
She is joined in the flag waving effort to get your attention by her husband, Toby Napier – long-wearing sound board and brilliant webmaster for AVID HOMESTEAD.com. Ms. Goudelock is the mother of two beautiful girls who are both enthusiastic,
creative and love animals. It is for their continued growth and the preservation of a more natural way of life that we strive.

PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION ONLINE that would allow Brevard County residents to have a more self-sustaining lifestyle in their own backyards!!!  Join our efforts by becoming an ACTIVIST for change - contact us if you would like to help!!!  We will continue to gather signatures until we go back before the Brevard County Board of Commissioners.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!

SIGN HERE:     http://www.avidhomestead.com/communities/usa/florida/brevard-county/petition.aspx

 

 

 

 

BREVARD COUNTY Chicken Underground OR The COVERT Coop 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:33:00 PM

Did you KNOW that there are people here in Brevard County who are keeping CHICKENS????  YES!  Chickens!!  Even though only ONE chicken or FOWL is allowed on most residentially zoned property, there are PLENTY of people here in Brevard who are already enjoying the benefits of backyard chickens.

The City of Melbourne ALLOWS backyard poultry and chickens.  This is approximately 46,000 people who can all have chickens if they wanted to. The City of Melbourne certainly has some easy to follow, basic rules regarding the keeping of animals on your personal residential property.  In Melbourne, you can have any type of cat or dog as a pet - EASY, no problem!  THEN, there are certain animals that are regulated by the State of Florida.  Florida has become a home for MANY invasive species, BOTH PLANT and ANIMAL and the state maintains a long, specific list for wildlife, birds, reptiles, etc. By way of edification, I have included an excerpted list of their rules pertaining to animals that are more relevant for home steading at the end of this article.  ***

Happily, ANY OTHER ANIMAL, including what have been recklessly bundled together as "farm animals", that you wish to own are possible.  The City of Melbourne just recommends that you get a permit.  ANY OTHER ANIMAL besides a cat and dog that will be kept outside of your home is pretty much allowed.  Code enforcement has issued permits for burros, donkeys, goats and ALL SORTS of animals.  A permit requires a brief inspection of the property which can be subject to an annual inspection so that the animal is maintained in a safe and sanitary environment.  There is also a requirement that a cage or coop be located at least TEN FEET from the property line.  In speaking with one of their friendly, helpful code enforcement officers, she was happy to explain that their process has been made easy and streamlined for the public.  Their policies are CLEAR and they generally find that people are very tolerant and abide by the rules.  From The City of Melbourne CODE COMPLIANCE DIVISION, I received 1) the ANIMAL PERMIT APPLICATION  2)  the INSPECTION INFORMATION SHEET FOR SPECIAL ANIMAL PERMITS and  3) the INSPECTOR'S GUIDELINES for SPECIAL ANIMAL / PET INFORMATION SHEET.  Altogether, SIX WHOLE PAGES, including the two pages of MUNICODE and the FAX cover sheet.  NO AMBIGUITY and a straightforward system that has worked in Melbourne for years.

As for the rest of Brevard, most residential chicken owners are part of the chicken underground.  These residents, who like me live in UN-INCORPORATED Brevard, have covert coops.  TYPICALLY one would think that un-incorporated means "outside of the city" possibly even "in the country".  HOWEVER, the code is very clear.  ONE CHICKEN, ONE POULTRY, ONE FOWL is allowed on ANY residential property.

For now, all members of the chicken underground rely on ONE THING - the good will of their neighbors in order to keep their beloved FOWL FARM ANIMALS.  Even one little peep of discontent or irrational malice will send out the county code enforcement officers to check out the complaint before you can say "BOY, HOWDY!"  No matter how OUTRAGEOUS or ridiculous, overblown or random the claim, here comes CODE ENFORCEMENT.  ALL those county agencies and agents get involved...talk about putting a HITCH in 'yer GET ALONG!!!  If your neighbor can't come and address issues face to face (which is the way that most things SHOULD be handled) without involving the playground supervisor,THEN your new favorite word becomes "COMPLIANCE, COMPLIANCE, COMPLIANCE". 

We wish to change this MAGIC WORD for Brevard County property owners into "SELF-RELIANCE, SELF-RELIANCE, SELF-RELIANCE"!!!!  THEN GUESS WHAT????  I CAN have backyard chickens and have a FRESH EGG every morning, and I CAN raise my own seasonal vegetables and I CAN have a few sheep to mow my lawn or fresh-squeezed goat's milk for my children!  WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD!

 

BUT.....back to reality.  HERE ARE SOME PICTURES of COVERT COOPS.  ONE of them is in Brevard County in Merritt Island SOMEWHERE in a residential neighborhood....

 

 

Christina COOP

 

BAMBOO Chicken coop             

covert coop

 

In Merritt Island, I visited the COVERT COOP.  I met the family who built the coop, gathered the chickens and graciously allowed me to interview them and take photographs.  Here is their story.  The house in Merritt Island is being rented by two families together - Mom and Dad, daughter and son-in-law plus kids.  The son-in-law supported his family by owning a small construction firm.  In 2008, his business was lost to a severe economic downturn and their house was lost to foreclosure.  Mom and Dad sold their small house in Rockledge, Florida and rented a MUCH BIGGER house on the island to be within easy driving distance of good schools for the grandkids.  NOW, everyone is living in the same house and doing whatever it takes to make things work.

Dad has a good job, Mom helps out with the kids and the Son-in-Law picks up jobs when he can and hopefully CLOSE-BY due to ever rising gas prices.  They have two cars which limits those spur of the minute trips out, especially to the grocery or convenience store, so the whole FAMILY TOGETHER has planted a garden and they have a COVERT COOP for eggs.  The house that they live in was on the market for a long time before they rented it, but it is IMMACULATELY cared for!  The house is well maintained, the pool is crystal clear, the veggies are all in neat rows and the chickens are colorful.  This one large, multi-generational family IS making it work.  They are re-building and they have all the things they need, plus a little determination, ALOT of PLANNING and even more hard work.

But, this is the COVERT COOP - NOT ALLOWED.  It is by grace and good wishes that this family is really making it.  As far as I can see, ANY of these well-built, colorful, clever or compact coops would be an asset to MANY backyards - Merritt Island or ANYWHERE!  Now, we just have to get Brevard County code changed so that more than one lonely chicken can OVERTLY fill them.

Margaret Goudelock was a journalism major at the University of Mississippi before she transferred to the University of North Texas to pursue a more lucrative degree in Art History, Painting and French. There is a magnetic sign for Avid Homestead
on the back of her truck and a small soap-box in the back that she will happily step up on with very little provocation.
She is joined in the flag waving effort to get your attention by her husband, Toby Napier – long-wearing sound board and brilliant webmaster for AVID HOMESTEAD.com. Ms. Goudelock is the mother of two beautiful girls who are both enthusiastic,
creative and love animals. It is for their continued growth and the preservation of a more natural way of life that we strive.

 

***   A GAME FARM LICENSE is required for captive rearing of native or nonnative game birds and game mammals. This license does not authorize the taking of or keeping of any game removed from the wild. A HUNTING PRESERVE LICENSE is required for release of captive reared native and non-native game animals for hunting purposes.

Game birds include: wild turkey, quail, rails, snipe, woodcock, ducks, geese, brant, dove, coot, gallinule, and nonnative species generally considered game such as pheasant, chukar partridge, and coturnix quail.

Game mammals include: deer, gray squirrel, rabbits, wild hogs in those areas where specified, and nonnative species generally considered game such as elk, antelope and buffalo.

Note: A license is not required for possession of Bison for commercial farming purposes, possession of 50 or fewer live bob white quail or non-native game birds (except non-native ducks and geese) possessed for personal use, consumption, educational, dog training or other not-for-sale or exhibition purpose, or possession of game bird eggs for consumption.

 

 

The FOUNDING of AARP - The Chicken Coop 

Sunday, April 22, 2012 9:56:00 PM

Did you know that almost EVERYONE used to have a chicken coop in their backyard?  Did you know that the humble chicken coop was the start of one of the most beneficial organizations for our senior community?  THIS is the AARP and THIS is their commercial on why and how they got started:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PM6pAnHKLs&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLA11DDDD54D7A2495

 

PLEASE don't forget to sign our petition!!!  WE are still collecting signatures and are GOING FOR THE 2,000 mark!!!  BREVARD COUNTY residents LET YOUR VOICE be heard!  Be sure to add your comments as well as your signature!  All information on the petition is completely confidential - thank you for your support!!!  CLICK THE LINK:

http://www.avidhomestead.com/communities/usa/florida/brevard-county/petition.aspx

Rockledge Presbyterian School visit for FARM WEEK 

Thursday, April 12, 2012 3:52:00 PM

Avid Homestead packed up some of our best behaved bunnies and a few small chicks to share with the kinder gardeners and pre-schoolers at Rockledge Presbyterian School in April.  The children were working on a unit about FARMS and where our food comes from, learning the names and sounds of animals and dressing up in costumes for pretend.  WHAT FUN to have a HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE as all the classes got to see some REAL ANIMALS!  We brought a range of bunny colors and sizes - we had a six week old smoky grey baby bunny to an adult twenty pound female and a couple in between!  Our good friend Christina gave us a trio of delightfully SILLY white crested Polish chicks for the day.  These little guys have solid black feathered bodies with white fluffy tufts on their heads that look like fanciful hats.  Many of the children had not seen such a variety of bunnies or birds up close and they had LOTS of questions!
 

EVERYBUNNY LOVED talking to and petting the animals!  Avid Homestead will be happy to come and speak with your classroom and share some of the lovely pets from The Farmhouse in Cocoa for an educational unit or event that you may be having in Brevard County.  Just let us know - we will be happy to illuminate and educate any of your students!  Just contact us through the website and be sure to sign our petition for code change!!!!

 

CALL your BREVARD COUNTY COMMISSIONER TODAY - April 2, 2012 

Sunday, April 1, 2012 9:11:00 PM

PHONE CHALLENGE for ALL Brevard County Florida residents!!!  CALL YOUR COMMISSIONER to show them that you want to be counted for allowing BACKYARD POULTRY!  Our family spent all day Saturday traveling from an early morning swap at the Bait Bucket in Fellesmere, to Kempfer's Feed & Seed and Malabar Feed and Farm in Malabar, to C&J Feed Store and Tractor Supply in Melbourne, to Brevard Farm and Ranch and to Amber Acres in Cocoa.  We stopped by to introduce ourselves personally to some, give updates to others and keep on GETTING THE WORD OUT - BREVARD COUNTY WANTS BACKYARD POULTRY now!!!  Our family also expressed GREAT appreciation to these business volunteers who helped get signatures at their stores, pointed people to our website and communicated information to their customer base.  This has truly been a COMMUNITY effort and we are grateful for all the support, positive energy and COMMITMENT that has propelled us forward in our quest for more friendly guidelines in a NEW and REVISED county code structure!!!

Avid Homestead has sent out over 500 emails from our site and with all of the newsletters and links combined, we have directly contacted over 5,000 people in the last week!  We are trying to get some REAL PROGRESS with the commissioners and we are asking for ONE MORE THING!  BURN UP the phone lines tomorrow to YOUR representative commissioner - let him or her know that you want code change and ask him/her to immediately approve backyard poultry at the next meeting.  Here is the contact information:

 

You can find which district you are in using this map: http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=36b9ec2f88114af6a30195172ca4d9fa (Opens in a new window, please be patient as it is slow to load)
 

 

District 1
Commissioner Robin Fisher
     Ph: (321) 264-6750
.Email Commissioner: D1.Commissioner@brevardcounty.us

District 2 (Chairman)
Commissioner Chuck Nelson
     Ph: (321) 454-6601
Email Commissioner D2.Commissioner@brevardcounty.us

District 3
Commissioner Trudie Infantini
     Ph: (321) 952-6300
Email Commissioner D3.Commissioner@brevardcounty.us

District 4
Commissioner Mary Bolin Lewis
     Ph: (321) 633-2044
Email Commissioner D4.Commissioner@brevardcounty.us

District 5 (Vice Chairman)
Commissioner Andy Anderson
     Ph: (321) 253-6611
Email Commissioner    
D5.Commissioner@brevardcounty.us



THANK YOU BREVARD COUNTY for helping Avid Homestead make urban homesteading and backyard poultry more of a REALITY in our county!!!!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

CHICKEN FACT and FICTION - WHY backyard poultry? 

Sunday, April 1, 2012 8:10:00 PM

      CHICKEN FACTS Vs. CHICKEN MYTHS

FACTS

The Latin name for chicken is Gallus Domesticus.  Chickens were domesticated over 8,000 years ago and are one of the most beneficial animals to man providing over 150 varieties to choose from for egg or meat production AND chickens make excellent pets.

A chicken is a bird.  A mature male is called a rooster.  A mature female is called a hen.  A newly hatched bird from an egg is called a chick.  Chickens are very social animals and quickly establish a family group or flock and the family hierarchy is called a “pecking order”.

ONE CHICKEN can produce as many as 200 eggs per year.   A one day old chick ranges in price from $2.00 - $7.00 for a laying breed.  It will be four to six months before a hen will start laying eggs.  The average cost for a backyard egg dozen is $2.50 - $8.00.  It costs $4.35 per dozen for large organic eggs at Publix.  It takes about 4 pounds of food to produce ONE DOZEN eggs

A chicken with RED ear lobes will lay brown eggs.  A chicken with WHITE ear lobes will lay white eggs.  Easter Egger,  Araucana and a few other breeds lay eggs in all sorts of colors:  light blue, sky blue, olive, grey, shades of brown, tan, pink and white.   EGGS are a very HEALTHY food!   Egg white is made from a protein called albumen and also contains niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2), chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur.  Egg white contains 57 percent of egg protein.

The cycle of life is often illustrated with the chicken – egg to chick to chicken to egg production.   Chick hatching from fertile eggs happens in about 21 days and is a valuable illustration in science classes and textbooks.  Hatching fertile eggs for chicks is a common homeschooling project.

A chicken cannot BITE you because they have no teeth.  A chicken CAN scratch you with the claws or spurs on their feet, but trimming these are easily done with dog nail clippers.

Alektorophobia is the name of the psychosis or “fear of chickens”

Our request for the immediate approval of backyard poultry is NOT unusual.  Major urban cities from Seattle to New York City and every size county, township, city or burg in between the two have ordinances that allow backyard chickens and urban poultry.  Gardening and small animal husbandry has been gaining in popularity in the last decade or so as part of an overall GREEN REVOLUTION that is sweeping our country.  With food and gas prices continuing to rise, people from all walks of life will search for more economical and self-supporting means in providing for their families.

MYTHS

SMELL - A chicken house is the same thing as a chicken coop.  FALSE –  A CHICKEN HOUSE is a commercial building specifically designed for large scale chicken production.  LARGE numbers of birds are kept in a small area for quick, efficient production of meat or eggs.  This is the type of bird that is commonly sold in the grocery store.  Due to tight quarters and high feed volume, there is a strong smell associated with this commercially accepted practice.  A chicken coop is an enclosure and yard to house backyard chickens.  A chicken coop may be as small and inexpensive or as large and elaborate as the owner chooses.  Using a deep litter method in the chicken coop or partly free ranging chickens in an open yard reduces or eliminates smelly poop accumulation.

VAGRANTS - If chickens are allowed in my neighbor’s back yard, then they are going to be flying around causing problems in MY yard.  FALSE – Chickens are not capable of sustained flight.  Chickens DO like to have the ability to scratch around the yard eating fresh grass and bugs.  However, a small coop with a screened yard works just as well and chickens can be easily maintained within a inexpensive poultry wire or board fencing.

NOISE - I like to sleep in on Saturdays, what if my neighbor gets a rooster that is crowing loudly at the crack of dawn?  FALSE - We are not asking that roosters be allowed in residential neighborhoods.  Roosters are permitted on agricultural acreage.  Backyard hens make a low cackling or clucking sound that are less noisy than dogs barking.  Occasionally, mail orders from hatcheries MAY have a few roosters, but there MANY opportunities for these birds to find new homes from ads placed on Craigslist, swaps or auctions or on local farms.

DISEASES – Chickens are carriers of all sorts of disease!  What about bird flu?   Salmonella?    E-coli?  FALSE - Avian influenza is a disease that spreads rapidly among birds and can be transmitted from birds to humans.  HOWEVER, this type of pathogen has yet to be found in North America and has been primarily confined to Asia.  Wild native birds carry more diseases than the domesticated chicken.  FOOD RECALLS for salmonella or E-coli are almost always on production eggs or on products that were not cleaned, stored or cooked properly. 

Chickens themselves are generally healthy animals.  ROUTINE maintenance involves things like putting apple cider vinegar in their water to aid with digestive health and glossy feathers and feeding them leftover pumpkin to prevent worms.  Mites (which are also common in dogs and cats) may be controlled by a light dusting of SEVIN dust or DIATOMACEOUS Earth.  Chickens do not get fleas.

INTOLERANCE – Chickens are maybe not for everyone but seeing a few chickens in your neighbor’s yard does not mean that they are in desperate circumstances or poverty.  The raising of backyard poultry in most cases is a lifestyle choice. Many people from all walks of life choose to live in a sustainable manner or reduce their footprint on our planet while stretching their dollars farther with the freshest supply of eggs and meat possible. For these people, it’s simply a smart choice!

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION:  MARGARET GOUDELOCK Backyard Chicken materials  All Rights Reserved 2012




 

Venison Curry a' la FLORIDA recipe 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7:38:00 PM

Here is a recipe that EVERYONE in my family LOVES!  It is simple to make (FAST and FABULOUS are my criteria more often than not for good recipes) and uses a lot of LOCAL FLORIDA ingredients.  My husband loves to hunt, so this is a recipe that we especially enjoy in the fall and spring after a good season - VENISON CURRY a' la FLORIDA.  The name is a tribute to my daughter who is nine and loves to cook "good things that rhyme".  She is my sous chef aka. CHOPPER OF INGREDIENTS extraordinaire!  I made up this recipe when a neighbor gave us more avocados than everyone could stand guacamole, so this seemed like something different that everyone would eat!!  This takes about 35 minutes to prepare.  The curry is served hot over basmati rice for the perfect blend of flavors.  Bon Apetit!

2 pounds venison stew meat or backstrap cut into 2" pieces

1 large sweet onion

1 large orange

6 cloves garlic finely chopped / 4 tblsp.

1/4 cup red cooking wine

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

4 heaping tablespoons of plain flour

1 large well-ripened Florida avocado mixed into a creamy paste

1 large red bell pepper cut into long strips

1 small bunch of green onions

olive oil

4 tablespoons of yellow curry - add more to taste

cracked pepper / sea salt to taste

Lightly brown chopped onion in olive oil in a large pan.  Add the juice of the orange and add chopped garlic.  Add venison medallions and lightly sear.  Add red wine.  Add chicken stock with the flour already mixed in to the stock as a thickening agent.  Allow to simmer for about 3 minutes then add well blended avocado and curry. (***MAKE SURE that the avocados are WELL ripened or the cooking will add a slightly bitter flavor).   Allow sauce to thicken to a gravy consistency.   Add in bell pepper strips and small chopped green onions.  Add cracked pepper and sea salt to taste.  Lightly steam last minute veggies for about 3 minutes until just tender and serve over basmati rice.

 

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